Protect Collegiate Rowing - IRA/NCAA Relationship

Protect Collegiate Rowing - IRA/NCAA Relationship

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Patrick George started this petition to NCAA

In light of the recent event of the cutting of four Varsity Rowing Programs ( Dartmouth Lightweights, George Washington Men’s Rowing, Stanford Men’s Rowing, and Stanford Women’s Lightweights) it is time for the IRA to reconsider creating a coalition with the NCAA.

As Athletic Departments around the United States look to mitigate large short term financial losses due to the Covid-19 pandemic by streamlining the number of financially supported programs it is an easier decision to cut non-NCAA sports. In order to protect the sport that we are so closely committed to, the IRA needs to become one with the NCAA.

Unfortunately, this debate has been had before (in 2002 and again in 2010)  to no avail due to the current governing bodies’ fear of losing the autonomy and control over the experience of collegiate rowing. Our hope with creating this petition is to create a voice for the athletes whose collegiate athletic careers are at stake and bring light to the lack of protection which the current set-up and system are providing their athletes. 

The benefits of becoming one with the NCAA are as follows:

  • National Recognition of the competition which will legitimize the sport.
  • Greater opportunity for diversification and inclusion within the sport which the IRA has hindered.
  • Create a more secure future for all athletes and teams. Meaning fewer teams will be cut, and hopefully a growth in Varsity programs from other schools.
  • The regulations of the NCAA would make the sport fairer for all schools due to financial fair play rules.
  • It will lead to greater investment in the sport by athletic departments and external investors.
  • It would increase the size of the championships which would mean more competition and improved coverage of the competitions, improving interactions with spectators.
  • When compared to Women’s Rowing: In 1996, Women’s rowing was offered and accepted to become part of the NCAA. In 2002, the IRA was similarly offered to join the NCAA but declined the offer. Women’s rowing was smaller than the IRA (51 teams) prior to joining the NCAA, since joining the NCAA there are now 156 Varsity Women’s Rowing Teams. Respectively, the IRA has remained the same size and is now decreasing with the recent cuts. This will continue without endorsement from the NCAA.

Together, oarsmen and oarswomen more than ever need to come together in support of each other’s programs to ensure there is a future for Rowing (the oldest and most storied collegiate sport.)

Thank you for your consideration and support.

 

0 have signed. Let’s get to 5,000!
At 5,000 signatures, this petition is more likely to get picked up by local news!